Responsible Investor

It takes more than money to grow a sustainable business

Norfund is contributing to the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by promoting investments that support sustainable development. We focus particularly on economic, social, and environmental development goals.

Norfund adds value by helping our investees to achieve high standards of governance and strong environmental and social performance. We believe that high Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards are prerequisites for suceeding at delivering on our mandate.

We would like to thank Norfund sincerely for showing us the way and supporting us with financial resources, technical assistance, motivation and advice”.

John Keith, CEO, Banco Promerica Costa RIca

Environmental and Social requirements (E&S)

In many of the countries in which we invest, employment and environmental laws, rules and protections may be poorly implemented. Protections for vulnerable populations may also be weak.

Norfund’s ESG policy describes the sustainability commitments of Norfund when we finance projects and how we commit the companies we invest in to responsible business practices.

If E&S risks are not addressed appropriately, this can cause harm both to people and to the environment. The management of environmental and social risks is therefore an integral part of Norfund’s investment processes. The Environmental and Social Performance Standards of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) provide the basis for our assessments.

Corporate Governance

Good corporate governance is essential for us to achieve financial, sustainability and development goals. It refers to the structures and processes for the direction and control of companies. Corporate governance matters because it improves investment companies’ performance and helps develop capital markets. Sound corporate governance adds value to investments, and reduces the risks for investors.

Exclusion list

Norfund and the other European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI) have identified particular sectors and activities in which we do not invest. The EDFI Exclusion List provides an overview of these.

Norfund’s Responsible Tax Policy

Norfund recognizes that tax receipts are fundamental to the ability of governments in developing countries to fund infrastructure and public spending and stimulate sustainable development. As a responsible investor, Norfund supports prudent transparent tax behaviors.

Cross Cutting Issues

Cross cutting issues are Sustainable Development Goals that are relevant to all aspects of development. Norfund assesses cross cutting issues in our investments.  

Climate Change

The effects of climate change pose a major risk to the dynamics of poverty reduction and to the prosperity of societies. Norfund is actively helping to reduce global CO2 emissions by investing in clean energy. We are currently developing a climate policy.

Gender Equality

Norfund is committed to supporting the economic empowerment of women. We follow Norway’s foreign policies and development policies on women’s rights and gender equality.

Read more about Norfund’s gender policy here.

Human Rights

Safeguarding and protecting human rights is essential when working in sustainable development. As Norfund’s role is to contribute to building sustainable businesses, our focus is on ensuring that companies in which we are invested adhere to human rights and don’t cause harm to anyone. We use the IFC Performance Standards as guidelines to follow up on this.


Norfund has a zero-tolerance policy on corruption and we expect our investment companies to abide by this policy. Norfund employees are also expected to sign Norfund’s Code of Conduct that reinforces this policy. If financial irregularities or corruption are suspected, Norfund has a formal channel to support whistle-blowers. This is open to everyone and procedures are in place for reporting detected cases to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.